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Apple, Samsung Lead Tablet Market as Shipments up 53% YoY in Q1 2021

Apple and Samsung dominated the tablet market as they sold more units worldwide. The rise in demand for tablets was due to the Huawei US ban, increased demand for large-screen mobile devices boosted by remote work, online education, and long stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To meet the increased demand, Apple and Samsung particularly released and promoted new models and ramped up production a well as shipments in 2020.

Apple sold 33% more iPad units worldwide in 2020 than in 2019 and continued to lead the market, expanding its share to 37% in Q1 2021. Meanwhile, Samsung sold 20% more tablets in the 1st quarter of 2021 compared to 16% in Q1 2020. This is according to Counterpoint Research’s latest Global Tablet Market Report.

Continuing the growth trajectory, the market grew 53% YoY in Q1 2021 after reaching a five-year high in Q4 2020, However, in Quarter on Quarter terms, it came down by 22% due to the quarter being an off-season period.

Counterpoint Research Global Tablet Market Share by Brand, Q1 2020 vs. Q1 2021

Senior Analyst Liz Lee said, “The basic iPad models accounted for 56% of the overall iPad shipments in Q1 2021. The iPad Air and iPad Pro series came next with 19% and 18% shares, respectively.

“Since consumers are constantly concerned about prices and portability, the latest iPad 8 emerged as the top-selling model. Launched in October 2020, the iPad Air 4 ranked second on the bestseller list as it was a huge hit with consumers looking for cost-effectiveness as well as high specifications.”

Lee added, “The recently launched M1 iPad Pro carries big changes compared to the previous models. The initial consumer response has been highly positive.

“But Apple is currently grappling with supply chain constraints such as chip shortages and production issues related to the Liquid Retina XDR panel. Accordingly, we expect the M1 iPad Pro shipments to be able to soar in Q3 backed by supply stabilization. This growth will be maintained in Q4, in line with the peak season effect.”